Twenty years ago when you needed a lawyer, dentist, plumber, salon or almost any local business, you would pick up a big, heavy phone book and peruse the “yellow pages” for interesting looking candidates. Today you’d be lucky to find a phone book, and if you did it might well be in your Grandma’s attic gathering dust.
In a smart phone driven world, more than 85% percent of consumers use online search and reviews to find businesses, and sadly the majority of those businesses do very little to make sure they get found.
How do customers find you online?
Google is still king here. Google gets about 95% percent of all local business search on mobile devices, and about 64% of desktop based searches.
Obviously making sure your business has a Google listing is the first step, but the listing alone won’t cut it. Here’s why: 92% of consumers today read online reviews, and “star rating” is the number 1 factor used by those consumers to judge a business.
Asking customers for reviews is where most businesses start. Unfortunately, the vast majority of customers don’t end up leaving a review after being asked.
The most effective route is to use an inexpensive tool like Repsight to manage the process.
Here’s how it works:
After doing business with a customer, you simply log in to Repsight and type in the customer’s email address and / or mobile phone number and hit ‘send.’ That’s it. Your customer receives an email thanking them for their business and asking them to rate you.
Your customers are given a choice of 1 to 5 stars.
Clicking on 4 or 5 stars sends your customer directly to your Google Business reviews page, with 5 stars already populated ready for them to type a positive review.
Clicking on 1 to 3 stars sends your customer to a private feedback form, allowing you to receive and respond to any potential negative feedback without the comments getting publicly posted. You privately receive an email with the customer feedback.
Repsight also includes Google Review score monitoring, so you’ll receive automated email alerts if your review score goes up or down.
Using a service like Repsight will greatly improve your chances of receiving positive feedback, but it is critical to make it part of your normal course of business. Not everyone who receives a review request will click on it, and not everyone who does will ultimately leave a public Google Review. You need to keep at it and before long you will end up with many positive reviews.
Why do Google Reviews matter so much for my business?
As discussed above, customers definitely use Google reviews to choose a business, but here’s where it gets interesting: your “star rating” AND the number of reviews you have can change how high your business ranks in Google’s search listings. In other words, you may not even be on the first several pages of local searches without them.
Google review count and score are factored into local search ranking: more reviews and positive ratings will probably improve a business’s local ranking.